The vast majority of authors are decent people who truly appreciate fan-mail from their readers, even if the reader hasn’t expressed their appreciation in the exact words the author wants them to.
The vast majority of authors don’t then go on to draft a blog post dissecting the piece of fan-mail, and what they would’ve preferred it to say.
The vast majority of authors don’t actually post their dissection of the fan-mail on their group blog.
The vast majority of authors don’t delete the post, then have the group blog release a statement that the author in question is sorry people read it, sorry people were offended or upset about it. And probably sorry that someone screen-capped it before it was deleted, then shared it on the Internet, where everyone then shared it with everyone else.
And therefore it seems as though the statement was released not because the author in question is actually sorry, but instead sorry she was caught, and that the incident went viral (of sorts).
Even us non-authors have read something, become disgruntled about it (deservedly or otherwise), then posted an off-the-cuff Tweet expressing our displeasure. But those off-the-cuff Tweets are really just a quick thought, maybe only one minute between reading something and then posting our reaction to it.
But actually spending time and effort dissecting something? Typing it up, formatting it, posting it to a group blog? That’s not off-the-cuff. That takes more than one minute for me, but your experience may differ.
The author in question is probably hoping this whole incident – which may have seemed minor to her in the beginning – would just go away, that we’d forget it ever happened. The author’s books were never on my wish-list anyway, and her name meant nothing to me. But I can’t be the only person now who has the author on our radar but not in a good way.
Because if that’s the way she treats her fans, then I’m not convinced she deserves to have fans.
She wants her fiction judged on its own merit? Fine.
I can like authors as people, even if their books don’t work for me. But I can’t like certain books if I don’t like their authors. Books aren’t their authors? Not even part? Not when books are their babies, part of them, their therapy of working through issues? The result of so much of their time and effort, if nothing else?
When I don’t like an author as a person – or simply one little thing they may have done – their books are immediately deleted from my wish-list, if they were ever there in the first place. So many books, so little money with which to buy them, so little time in which to read them. I know how much word-of-mouth and sales mean to authors, so I choose to spend my time and money on those who are worthy of it.
And yes, I will continue to spread news of “authors behaving badly”, or whatever you may call it. Because other readers deserve to have knowledge. What they choose to do, or not do, with that knowledge is completely up to them.
No, I haven’t approached the author directly. I’m not going to “bully” her, and I don’t suggest others do, either. She knows what she did. She knows what she thought at the time, and why – I don’t.
But I do recommend you consider whether the author, as a person, deserves your time and money. What you choose to do, or not do, with this knowledge is completely up to you.
To all the awesome authors remaining awesome: We salute you! 🙂
Note:The person on whose Facebook the author made the comment has requested the screencap to be removed. I am doing so. But I am keeping the text here. If you want to see the screencap, email me, and I’ll send it through, so you can have proof that I’m not mangling the author’s words.
TEXT OF THE FACEBOOK COMMENT
“Just wanted to point out, since people are discussing last week’s debacle from Writer Unboxed, that the post was withdrawn and I apologised to anyone who was offended or upset. If someone has posted the whole thing elsewhere that’s unfortunate. I hope readers will judge my fiction on its merits.”